Monday, June 25, 2007

Orthodox christians

The religion of Ukraine as well as Armenia is 'Orthodox Christianity'. I already told about the Easter ceremony, in Armenia I got to learn some more about the history and rituals.

Armenia was actually the first country in the world (300 A.D.) to adopt Christianity as a state religion. I think this church - 'Etchmiadzin' - was somehow based on one very early church.

This is inside a church in a big church complex in the mountains and this church they dug out of the mountain from a hole in the top and down.

This is a pagan temple. What is often not mentioned are the ruins to the right, they are from a christian temple which was built after and which was made a bit taller than the pagan temple. Both collapsed during an earthquake but the christian church was not rebuilt because of the rude spirit in which it was designed, christian or not.

But what is more interesting is that I saw a dead person. Near to the place where I was staying in Yerevan an old woman had died. All her friends and family, maybe 60-70 persons, had gathered in front of the apartment. Then they came out with her in an an open coffin. That was kind of creepy. But it was also beautiful because they formed a long procession with her coffin in the middle. Children in the front were carrying her portrait and some big flower decorations, and in the back some musicians were playing quiet music on 'duduk', a traditional Armenian instrument. That was actually the first time I heard a duduk, it is a very nice wooden wind instrument, kind of nasal sounding but very expressive. I was told that the ritual is used every time someone dies, but I am pretty sure they don't use the ritual in Ukraine. Actually I think in general Ukrainians must be less religious, this can also be seen in how the Ukrainian girls dress.

No comments: